It isn't anywhere near year-end right now, but that doesn't mean people aren't still working on their resolutions. Statista found earlier this year, people said their top resolutions were to eat healthier (37%), get more exercise (37%) or save more money (37%). If these are on your list, we hope you are making some progress at this point in the year. Shifting our discussion today to the markets and opportunity for bankers, things definitely are booming out there. Business is good and rates are rising, so profits are too. The Fed has slowly raised short rates, but longer maturities have...
When high school kids head off to college, they often ask their parents and friends what sort of degree might make sense. That is why we found research by the National Center for Educational Statistics interesting. It looked at the most popular majors for bachelor's degrees and found the top ones were business (19%), health professions (11%), social sciences and history (9%), psychology (6%) and biological and biomedical sciences (6%). You might also be interested to find out more about how people are using bill payment these days. About $4T changes hands every year when consumers pay their...
People love to drink coffee. Look no further than a survey by the National Coffee Association that finds 64% of Americans age 18Ys or older drink a cup of coffee a day. Interestingly, 79% did so at home, while the rest went to a caf? or some other location.As you sip your coffee this morning, we point out that community banks are not only the backbone of banking, but also the backbone of farming as well. After all, community banks provide 75% of all agricultural loans to American farmers. It is little surprise then, that many community banks are supporting...
Is there anything anywhere that Amazon isn't into yet? This list certainly seems small, as they have announced a partnership with Marriott hotels. Amazon plans to drop an Alexa into every room to act as a personal assistant for weary travelers. That's right, guests will soon be able to order room service, get dinner recommendations, call housekeeping, and do other stuff simply by asking Alexa to do it.Speaking of speaking, we speak to a lot of bankers about their digital offerings. It seems that corporate CFOs aren't that much different from small business banking customers. Both are increasingly...
People can be real fraidy-cats. At least, that is, if you believe a UK study on the percentage of adults who are afraid of the dark. Amazingly, the study found 64% of adults said they were still afraid of the dark, 67% don't like turning out the lights before jumping into bed and 36% said they regularly get the feeling that something or someone is in the room with them. That last one is creepy, so we are glad it is morning.In banking, no one is afraid of taking deposits or making loans, but that doesn't mean competitive pressures aren't...
You may not know it but wrestling is considered to be the oldest competitive sport on the planet. It reportedly shows up on cave drawings dating back to 3,000 BC and in the Olympics around 708 BC. That is certainly an old sport, if not the oldest.Today we focus on how community bank technology teams are always wrestling with hackers who are working to take them down. Hackers seem to constantly find new ways to break into computer systems, so countermeasures are constantly evolving. This is an evolutionary cage match and neither hacker nor banker shows any signs of slowing...
Research published in Nature Communications finds oxygen can now be extracted from water in zero gravity using star light and a semiconductor. This amazing discovery seems to provide a way for humans to take long space flights. So, suit up and get ready everyone!As you think about traveling to distant stars in the future, we bring our community bank readers back down to earth this morning as we delve into how wearable payment devices are gaining traction with some examples and discussion.Take, for instance, ABN Amro's Kerv payment ring. In early testing of its device, ABN Amro found...
Let's face it - things cost money. Look no further than upper education. On the good news front, the Census Bureau reports 33% of Americans 25Ys or older have completed a bachelor's degree or higher vs. about 17% back in 1980. Since the data shows college educated people earn more than others that is good for the country. As for the bad news, consider that over the same time period, education costs have soared over 1,000%. It sure makes one think about the return on investment (ROI). When it comes to financial institutions, management teams, boards and investment bankers are...
We thought it was interesting that CareerBuilder research found 58% of managers say they did not get any management training, and a survey by Harvard Business Review finds the same 58% say they trust strangers more than their own boss. This probably isn't the case at your institution, but training and trust are clearly very important. So, these might be worth a second look.Banks are constantly tweaking their product and service offerings in response to competitors and market conditions. Right now, this is especially true, given that short-term interest rates are rising, but longer ones seem to be barely budging....
You ever wonder about the person working just down the hall from you? Sure they are a colleague and very nice, but something sees a bit off too. After probing a bit more, you realize you have finally put your finger on it. They appear to be among the 7% of Americans who believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows or even worse the 485 who said they had no idea where it comes from! Moo.As you work each day to capture more customers, perhaps a discussion around chocolate milk with prospects (including a cookie) might be a great ice...
Did you know that we are all so addicted to all things internet and social that 77% of us go online at least daily? That is just one finding of Pew Research that also found 26% of us go online almost constantly, 43% do so several times a day and 8% check things out 1x per day. As you think about your marketing efforts to capture and retain customers, this data is no doubt helpful, we would imagine.While many small and mid-sized business (SMB) customers of community banks most often focus within their geographic region, an increasing number...
A new survey by EdenFantasys looked at how prevalent sex is in the workplace. What - good morning! Now that we have your attention, the survey found 14% of people say they have had sex at their place of work and of those, 19% have been caught doing so. While 44% have had a workplace romance, 70% of those said they hid their fling from coworkers and bosses. Finally, while 60% of all work relationships have ended in a breakup within 1Y, 25% of such relationships ended in marriage. Have fun out there, but not too much - at least...
It is well known that many Americans are just not healthy and that shifting habits are a big underlying issue. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds only 33% of kids are physically active every day and spend more than 7.5 hours daily in front of a screen. Meanwhile, there is a 25% adult obesity prevalence rate in 32 states now. Staying healthy takes work. But it also makes you feel better, so good luck to everyone. It is also well known that checks are going the way of the dinosaur. Interestingly though, while digital banking is pushing...
Earlier this year, Pew Research did some work around social media. Since community banks want to stay connected to customers, we thought you might like to know a few things here. Americans use YouTube (73%) and Facebook (68%) the most, then Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), LinkedIn (25%) and Twitter (24%). By age though, younger Americans (18-24Ys) use YouTube (94%), Facebook (80%), Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%) and Twitter (45%). As is supported with the above, there's no denying that data has always been an integral part of the banking industry. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the data that many
The Urban Institute found millennial homeownership is only 37% at this point, a whopping 18% below the level of Gen X and boomers when they were the same age. Reasons vary, but include: getting married later in life (30% later); holding off on having babies by 32% (a driver of homeownership); renting in more expensive locations (down payment takes longer) and holding more student loan debt (46% of graduates back then vs. 75% now). As you figure out how to get this cohort as a customer, it always helps to have some raw data to lean on.Banks are always seeking
People are weird about germs at times. We looked at what people do in bathrooms to avoid germs and found: 64% operate the flusher with their foot, 60% use paper towels to open the door, 48% open and close the door with their butt and 39% use their elbow to avoid all contact. Think about that the next time you go to the loo.The good news for bankers is that customers don't exhibit nearly as much strange behavior when they open new accounts. In fact, customers that can open new accounts easily and relatively quickly are more loyal and usually
As pointed out yesterday, almost everyone checks their smartphone when waking up or just before going to bed, and few are successful at limiting their usage. To help, the same Deloitte research finds top ways people try are: keep phone in handbag or pocket while meeting people (38%), turn off audio notifications (32%), keep phone in bag or pocket when alone (27%), delete apps (26%) and turn off phone at night (26%). Hope this helps.When it comes to construction lending, there are other tips that can help even those bankers who are tied to their phones. As any banker involved
Perhaps not surprisingly, Deloitte research found people on average check their smartphone 47x per day and more than 80% do so within 1 hour of getting up or before going to sleep (35% do this within 5 minutes). What's more, almost half of people have tried to limit their smartphone usage in the past, but only 30% actually succeeded. Your customers too, surely are heavy smartphone users, but that aside, bankers are always trying to figure out how to better attract and retain the most profitable customers. The latest way has banks switching from product-centric pricing to customer-centric pricing driven
Summer is here and people are thinking of traveling. That is always fun, but it got us thinking about whether there are any angles around this to think about. We uncovered research by Expedia that finds boomers travel 27 days per year or about the same as Gen X at 26 days. Interestingly, millennials travel 35 days per year. By type of vacation, most boomers do so to visit family (67%), compared to relaxing for Gen X and millennials at 51% and 55%, respectively. Have fun out there this summer!As you travel, you will certainly casually note any bank branches
Data by Funders and Founders finds people live on average 78Ys and like dogs and cats, we spend most of our time sleeping (36%). Rounding out the other major ways we spend time: working (13%), social networking, TV, video (12%), doing chores (8%), eating and drinking (5%), education (4%), grooming (3%), shopping (3%), child care (2%), & commuting (2%). Now you know, so spend your time wisely!While commuting doesn't take much out of your life, it is still important to think about, as the workplace changes and telecommuting becomes more prevalent. Consider this:A perk most want - A
We were intrigued by a Hill Holiday study that looked at what matters most to single women, ages 30 to 45. It found the biggest life milestones they wanted were: living on their own (44%), establishing a career (34%) and financial security (27%). We will let you think about and discuss this data, to draw your own conclusions. But, it is interesting. Speaking of interesting things to customers and banks, today we tackle the topic of Open Banking. This concept revolves around the idea of "opening up" access to banks using software programs called application programming interfaces (APIs). The
Online gaming is a big business. Look no further than a survey by the Game Developers Conference that found the top 5 platforms where game developers are currently working are: PC (60%), smartphones/tablets (36%), PS4/Pro (30%), Xbox One/X (26%) and Mac (20%). Game on.Of course, we don't know any community banks that play games when it comes to expanding their loan opportunities with businesses, no matter the lending platforms or approach.As some quick background, the Fed reports US banks extended $2.1T in loans to companies as of Feb 2018. Commercial lending remains an essential offering for community banks, so making
A survey from Bankrate asked people to list their biggest financial mistakes. The findings were interesting, with the top position of "not saving enough for retirement early enough" at 22%, closely followed by "none" at 20%. Rounding out the rest of the top 5 is: not saving enough for emergency expenses (16%), taking on too much credit card debt (9%), and taking on too much student loan debt (9%).Everyone makes mistakes, which is why bankers seeking to perhaps learn from errors of the past should find our discussion on mentoring/advising small business owners pertinent.All bankers want to keep earning the
We thought it was interesting to hear the successful Shark Tanker, Mark Cuban's top reason why people fail in business. In his own blunt way he said it was due to a "lack of brains and lack of effort." He pointed out that competition was extreme everywhere, so only those who do the hard work day in and day out, to know more about their industry than anyone else, will win.As you ponder that this morning, we share some work we have done to help you better understand chatbots and the way banks are using these tools to improve the
Paranoia used to be a term relegated to the world of psychiatry, but now it is estimated that up to 15% of the general population has some paranoia regularly. This can range from the mild (thinking others disapprove of you) to severe (evil forces are against you). Studies based on twins show this can also be both genetic (abnormal activity in the amygdala) and environmental (trauma). You are not paranoid though if you think chatbots are coming.What are they? These "virtual assistant" computer programs are designed to help humans do something faster using a more conversational way of
Rock star Spencer Dryden once famously said, "Get them while they're young and bend their minds." While the Jefferson Airplane drummer was most likely talking about getting teenagers of 50Ys ago to enjoy the musical stylings of "White Rabbit", the concept of winning over young people has broad applications for banks today as well. Time and again, research has proven that by cultivating relationships with young consumers, financial institutions gain customers for life.However, the importance of appealing to these emerging customers has grown mightily as the youth market is wielding more economic muscle than virtually any other demographic. The 80mm
Along the lines of how ridiculous people can be, we recently covered a story on hot dog water, and today shift to one on fish pedicures. Some believe that putting your feet in a tub full of "doctor fish" that nibble at your dead skin increases circulation and provides you with smoother feet. We don't know. But judging by the picture here, it is as crazy as drinking used hot dog water, if you ask us.Speaking of crazy things in banking, look no further than what has been going on in the five years since EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip cards were
After pondering how spiders can fly without wings, biologists did some testing by creating an electric field at strengths found in the atmosphere. They found spiders responded by spraying out silk in a fan-like shape and then got airborne. It is believed riding atmospheric currents is how spiders travel worldwide when there is no wind. Electrically charged flying spiders is truly amazing, but to bankers, it may pale in comparison to video banking. Over the past few years, banks have slowly been warming up to the idea of adding video banking to their array of services. The data shows there
New research reveals that a moderately positive review is actually more impactful than a glowingly positive one. People seem to think that the moderately positive review is written with more thought and precision than a top rating. As you ponder this, we wonder how bankers might rate their core systems.Many community banks have legacy systems dating back to the 1980s, some even older. After all, customers are used to the interfaces on these cores and there are only so many options out there anyway.To try and keep updated over time, banks have bolted new functionalities onto their legacy core, or
As the summer heats up, we wanted to remind you of key rules when using the pool: Don't drink the water, don't run, don't dive into shallow water, watch out for uncovered drains, hydrate and don't pee in the pool. Most of these are pretty standard, but sometimes you need to revisit standards to improve on them.Speaking of standards, the credit crisis in banking taught us the old standard of using credit scores as the be-all-end-all might not be everything it was cracked up to be. When it comes to rating creditworthiness for a loan, a high credit score (like
Measuring intelligence in humans can be a tricky thing. After all, some people you know might be book smart, some are street smart and some are just wicked smart. The intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score that comes from various standardized tests designed to assess overall intelligence in humans. The IQ median raw score when developed was 100 and scores move based on standard deviations around that number. In short, about 67% of people score from 85 to 115, while 2.5% score above 130 and 2.5% score below 70. As you ponder where you might score and where that genius
As you ponder where to travel this summer, we found it interesting that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) researched countries worldwide to try and figure out those that have the most native born population living abroad. At the top of the pack it found Ireland (18%), followed by New Zealand (14%), Portugal (14%), Mexico (12%) and Luxembourg (12%). Meanwhile, those with the least living abroad were China (0.3%), US (0.5%), Japan (0.6%), Brazil (0.7%) and Australia (2%). To keep existing customers from traveling to a competitor in banking, there are some things to keep in mind. Consider
Globally, 45% of adult smartphone users say they worry they are too connected to their phones, according to Deloitte. The same percentage says that they try to limit their phone usage in various ways. Of note, some 67% of 18 to 24Y olds say they use their phone too much. It looks like most people worldwide need to work on decreasing their smartphone distractions. In banking, there is a lot going on well beyond simple distraction when it comes to cybercrime. In fact, a recent report by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) provides stats and examples
I bet it never crossed your mind to drink hot dog water! Well, by now you have certainly read that a man in Canada sold hot dog water in a bottle for $38 and a bunch of fools bought it! His goal was to prove a point about false advertising and it worked, as he claimed this gross water had health advantages such as weight loss, increased brain function and general vivacity. Now, we haven't seen cloud computing bottled yet, but given the success with hot dog water, some companies may be trying to do so soon. For bankers looking
We got so much good feedback from community bankers about our odds discussion yesterday that we wanted to share a few more tidbits. For instance, the odds of having a perfect NCAA basketball tournament bracket is 1 in 128B, while becoming US President is much more likely at 1 in 300mm, but still worse than winning the Powerball at 1 in 292mm. Specifically for bankers - flipping a coin and getting heads 100x in a row (1 in 30mm) is more difficult than becoming a billionaire (1 in 5mm) or getting a hole in one in golf (1 in 12,500).
Looking around the internet we found some interesting odds to share with you. For instance, did you know that you are much more likely to get hit by lightning during your lifetime (1 in 6,250 if you live to 80Ys old) than you are to see a bear in the wild (1 in 2.1mm) or get attacked by a shark (1 in 3.7mm). That said, you are also much more likely to be audited by the IRS (1 in 29) if you make more than $200,000 per year, than your high school children will get a college scholarship for athletics
Since we all use so much digital stuff these days, we found an innovation from Intel quite interesting. The company found a way to reduce display battery usage by 50%. This is a big deal because the display is the single biggest battery drain on any mobile device. This will be a welcome change and a positively charged one at that.Speaking of how to get charged or perhaps not, we focus our discussion today on new rules from the Small Business Administration (SBA) around marijuana or cannabis activities.The new rules are not just for cannabis-based businesses, but apply to anyone
There is a strange process that unfolds when doctors prescribe you medicine. They apparently look to pooled cohort equations (PCEs) to help determine your risk of heart attack or stroke. In so doing, doctors leverage data to be sure the exact level of medication is effective and safe for the patient. Interestingly, Stanford University research finds some 11mm people may have been given the wrong prescription for a host of drugs, based on PCEs. A key problem is that PCEs use datasets that are outdated. In fact, one dataset cited in the research is from 1948. Given how much more
For parents worried about teen depression, new research from Stony Brook University may help provide some answers. It finds that despite popular belief that smartphones and video games lead to social isolation and ultimately depression, something else may be a bigger contributor. Researchers found that the more time teens spent online (screen time) in any shape, the greater the risk of reporting depressive symptoms. They found teens with the most screen time also got the least amount of sleep or reported insomnia, which ramped up feelings of depression. It seems parents are right in asking kids to unplug an hour
Recall the old saying that milk helps keep your bones healthy? Recent data shows people must not mind that much having brittle bones, as consumption of milk has dropped 13% in the past 10Ys. Ag banks know this all too well, as that downward pressure has also put a burden on dairy farms, leading to a 50% drop in count since 2000. As if that weren't bad enough for dairy farmers, retail milk prices are only $3.23 per gallon, which is a lower level than where prices stood some 10Ys ago. Moo-ving on to other areas of banking, today we
Did you hear that researchers from the University of Leeds and Lancaster University in the UK have found a compound in green tea may prevent heart attacks and strokes? The compound reportedly dissolves proteins that form deposits in the arteries. That is good because those deposits reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, which leads to heart attacks and strokes. So, you may want to drink more green tea to stay healthier. The innovations and explorations seem to never stop in the health world.In banking, we recently gave you an update on the innovation, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments, but the
Here is some good news - it seems a blood test known as a liquid biopsy has been shown to detect tiny amounts of DNA released by 10 different types of cancer cells in the body. Doctors and researchers hope such tests could soon be used to catch cancer at an early stage. The test correctly identified pancreatic, ovarian, liver and gallbladder cancer 80% of the time. The test also had decent accuracy rates for lymphoma (77%), myeloma (73%), bowel (67%), lung (59%) and head/neck (56%) cancers. Let's hope this new test can soon be leveraged to treat people faster.While
According to an employee study, the cost of conflict in the workplace has deeper ramifications than organizations may realize. Employees answered how they were affected after a colleague was rude or uncivil: lost work time worrying about the incident (80%); commitment to organization declined (78%); performance declined (66%); lost time avoiding offender (63%); intentionally decreased work effort (48%); intentionally decreased time at work (47%); intentionally decreased work quality (38%); left the organization (12%). Successful teamwork is clearly the way to go. We are happy to provide you with some good examples of teamwork in fighting BSA/AML crime today. Enforcement
It looks like mom was right when she told you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and have a well-rounded diet to stay healthy. New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology supports that view. The research looked at vitamin supplements and found many provide no advantage to people and in some cases can even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Be careful out there and be sure to eat right.The US has also been moving carefully when it comes to allowing companies to consume the payments space, as we head
In the human eye, the iris plays a pretty important role. It is the thin structure in the eye that is responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil. That process is critical because it controls the amount of light that goes to the retina. Eye color is also found in the retina in humans. That is why we were happy to see the FDA has approved the first prosthetic iris. Seeing risk clearly in banking takes skills. While having a solid risk assessment plan for third party vendors is nothing new to bankers, what do you do
An interesting thing happened along the route of machines taking over the world. It seems an international study published in the Annals of Oncology finds artificial intelligence (AI) detected skin cancer better than dermatologists. Dermatologists accurately identified 86.5% of skin cancers during the testing vs. 95.0% for the machines and AI. Machines handle a lot for humans in this digital world and that is certainly the case when it comes to credit cards and payments. To protect the flows, the industry is set to again move up its security standards, in hopes of making it more difficult for the bad
Experian research finds the average monthly loan payment for a new car is now $523 and the average amount borrowed is $31,453. Both are record highs. Meanwhile, research by Edmunds finds the average length of a new auto loan reached 69.2 months in April of this year or about 5.8Ys. This is yet again another all-time record. There is a lot going on in the auto lending space and there is a lot going on in community banking as well. Look no further than the most recent quarterly report of bank performance from the FDIC. It certainly paints a rosy
Yesterday we began by highlighting a Bankrate survey focused on what people are planning to do when it comes to taking vacation this year. That survey found that sadly, only 36% of those with paid time off said they planned to use it all. The rest were as follows: use almost all (19%), about half (19%), about a quarter (13%) and none (13%). Americans sure do work hard.As you know, the Fed has also been working hard the past few years to raise rates back to a more normalized pre-crisis level, given good economic strength. That effort has pushed floating
A Bankrate survey finds the primary reasons that 49% of Americans aren't planning to take a vacation this summer are: they cannot afford it (50%), family duty (25%), can't take time off work (22%), other vacation plans (6%) and health/age or just don't want to (tied at 4% each). Given the sun is out and mostly warm now in many areas of the country, we will side with the 51% who do plan to take a vacation and start scheduling ours now.The good news for banks in general these days is that the heavy load and high cost of regulation
More and more stuff happens on your smartphone. Look no further than a study from late last year by comScore. It found that 23% of all US e-commerce dollars were spent using a mobile device. Meanwhile, mobile spending by category was most often on: toys & hobbies (58%); video games, consoles & accessories (55%); music, movies & videos (51%); jewelry & watches (51%); computer software (41%) and sports & fitness (40%).It now seems central banks globally are dinking around with the possibility of eventually issuing their own cryptocurrencies. Canada, Sweden, Singapore and China are all dabbling. The Central Bank of
A new study from the University of Alabama finds viral infections could be a key cause of gray hair. It seems the immune system releases interferons to fight off viral infections, but when there isn't enough of a certain type of gene (MITF), too many interferons are produced. This overabundance of interferons pushes the immune system to attack melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for eye, skin and hair color. This process causes the growth of non-pigmented gray hair.In the banking sphere, all of the ongoing hype of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services, including Venmo and PayPal, are giving community banks
The next time you get into a tall building and punch the elevator button to ascend into the sky, consider how long it takes to get to the 8th floor. We say this not because that floor is anything special, but rather because researchers have just recorded the biggest ocean wave ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere off the coast of New Zealand. That whopper was 78 feet tall or just over 8 stories high! No matter how your bank tracks significant things, you may find it interesting to know that an Accenture survey found 63% of consumers are willing
As aging occurs, the areas affected the most are the hippocampus (crucial for memory) and the prefrontal cortex (higher cognitive thinking). This is why 50% of people over age 85Ys fight against Alzheimer's disease. You can slow things down and keep the brain functioning longer though, with a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising and staying creative.Since Baby Boomers fill the ranks of many bank boards, issues around aging are becoming an issue. Banks are being forced to consider how long is too long to hold a spot on the board and still be effective. It's not an easy question
Microsoft announced people will be able to get bill pay reminders in Outlook and followed up that announcement with another one that indicates you will also be able to pay those bills using email. Apparently, you can just click a button and pay the bill after Outlook scans incoming emails, identifies any bills, schedules payment dates and then pays it at the click of a button. Of course, PCWorld notes that users will have to overcome the fact that we have been told for years by security experts not to click on buttons in email. Still, it is yet another
A survey by AAA finds 20% of Americans now say their next car will be an electric one vs. 15% who said so at the same time last year. People said they were attracted by lower ownership costs, more safety features and longer driving ranges. Primary concerns cited by potential buyers are: reliability (92%), crash ratings (77%), cost (71%), acceleration/handling (69%) and advanced safety technology (60%).Another electrically charged issue in banking relates to discussions that have been going on for years around attracting the unbanked and underbanked. Now, with technology and financial literacy outreach, several community banks are finding it
Banks spend a lot of time training and sending people to training. As such, you might be interested to know that research by the National Training Laboratories finds the average learning retention rates are highest when teaching others (90%). The rest of the pyramid from most to least effective are: practice by doing (75%), discussion group (50%), demonstration (30%), audio visual (20%), and reading (10%). A growing litany of regulations, potential threats to the bank and customers, and the need to stay on top of current product and industry trends has made training employees an expensive and time-consuming process. As
All community banks want to grow, and their small business customers want to grow too. What if you helped them grow internationally? Some of you may already be doing this. But, for others that aren't, you may want to think about this - already back in 2016, an OFX study found that 58% of small businesses had international customers. The key driver for this trend is technology, of course. International business is easier to access with the internet and expedited payment systems. You still may not be convinced that your business customers are ready to expand into international
Your IT teams probably know this, but bankers should know that European researchers in Germany have found widely used email encryption standards (PGP and S/MIME) can be hacked and are unsafe. Because of flaws in this encryption, and the fact that there are no reliable fixes, researchers are warning people to uninstall or disable such features and stop using them until a fix can be found. In the world of BSA/AML, things are just as dicey at times. Banks are now complying with new rules for reporting beneficial ownership of 25% or more, but be forewarned that regulators may ask
What is old is new again. An amazing scientific breakthrough uses a handheld printing device to deposit skin directly onto burns and other wounds. The printer works similarly to older white-out tape dispensers (also known as Liquid Paper), which were used to cover typing mistakes back in the day. It works instead of a skin graft and does not require healthy skin to be removed either. We think this is fantastic for burn and other wound victims, and we thank University of Toronto researchers for their hard work.Many privately held banks have a similarly difficult problem to solve. Only, instead
People in the US are so diet obsessed that some scary statistics give you plenty to think about. For instance, did you know that in America, research finds: 42% of 6 to 8Y old girls want to be thinner; 46% of 9 to 11Y old girls are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets; 82% of 9 to 11Y olds say their families are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets; 81% of 10Y old girls are afraid of being fat; and 25% of men and 45% of women are on a diet on any given day. People don't seem to know
FDIC research shows that there have been two major periods of bank failures over the past 30Ys. The first one was from 1981 to 1993 and the second one was the Great Recession, where a high number of bank failures occurred from 2008 to 2014. In between those time periods, things in banking have been pretty good though.There's even more good news for community banks. This is because efforts are afloat to reduce regulatory burden. Of course, these are long-term efforts, so bankers will have to be patient, but here are some of the particulars.In March of this year, regulators
Scientists in Japan have accidentally discovered a way to keep ice cream from melting. After a tsunami damaged strawberry fields in the country and left the fruit damaged, a professor and his university team decided to take it and make an extract that could be used as a desert topping. When they poured it on ice cream, however, they saw it solidified instantly and could be used as a binding agent. Enter the frozen dessert that doesn't easily melt. Community banks operating in the US under our regulatory agencies cannot be blamed for finding it difficult to keep up with
As you get ready to travel this summer, you should know that Hawaii just passed a bill that bans sunscreens containing ingredients that may damage or kill coral. It still needs the governor's signature, but it sounds pretty much like a sure thing. Hawaiian visitors will need to thoroughly research and consider new sun protection options, as some 70% of sunscreens on the market today have those ingredients. Community bankers these days have lots to consider as well, particularly when it comes to striking the right balance between digital and physical delivery channels. A large percentage of Americans now have
Pew Research finds the social media sites US adults use online or on their smartphone most actively are: YouTube (73%), Facebook (68%), Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%) and LinkedIn (25%). By age group, those who say they use social media are as follows: age 18 to 29Ys (88%), 30 to 49Ys (78%), 50 to 64Ys (64%) and 65Ys or older (37%). Stay socially connected out there.Speaking of social activities, as we saw in our weekly coverage of community banks for Community Banking Month in April, many community institutions pride themselves on having a strong relationship with their communities. Yet,
HubSpot research finds 96% of companies that have 101 or more new opportunities in their sales pipeline each month achieve their quota vs. 85% for those with 51 to 100 opportunities and a dismal 18% for those with less than 50. Clearly, it seems there is a link between sales opportunities in the pipeline and achieving sales quotas. Now you know.Speaking of sales, bankers should note that despite the issues at Wells Fargo as of late, cross-selling doesn't have to be a bad word. In fact, small business owners want their bank to cross-sell, according to a Barlow Research Associates
The American Payroll Association reports about 10 minutes per day/per employee, is lost as a result of people leaving early, being late and taking long lunches. For a company with 100 people, given 240 working days per year, that adds up to about 4,000 hours per year that disappears due to inefficient time usage. Time is flying in banking too, particularly when you're preparing for new rules governing current expected credit loss (CECL). Even though the effective date for most community banks is not until January 1, 2021, regulators have begun to ask questions about how well CECL preparation is
In most parts of the country it feels warm outside and summer is just around the corner. As such, we point out a couple of not so sunny facts about skin cancer from the American Cancer Society to help keep you and your loved ones safe this summer: skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US and tanning is actually the body's response to injury from the sun. As for sunscreen, research shows a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 blocks out 93% of the sun's UVB rays vs. 98% when the SPF is 50 (no difference
Harvard research finds US women and men who maintain healthy lifestyles live much longer than those who do not. Researchers estimate life expectancy at age 50 for women who do not adopt any low risk lifestyle factors is 29Ys, compared to 43.1Ys for those who adopt all five low risk factors (+18%). For men, the shift goes from 25.5Ys to 37.6Ys (+16%). So, if you want to live much longer, you might want to focus on: not smoking; low body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2); at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day; moderate alcohol intake (up
A survey by health insurer Cigna shows it sure is lonely out there. A shocking 50% of respondents say they feel alone or left out always or sometimes. Even more surprising, younger people in Gen Z (18 to 22Ys old) rated themselves 23% lonelier than the group aged 72Ys or older. This survey should sound alarms with parents, who may think that social isolation and loneliness are out of range for this younger generation.In the banking industry, it can certainly seem lonely too - especially when one considers the competitive risk of an unregulated entity like Amazon entering into the
A new study by MIT researchers finds that if you are interested in learning a new language, the best time to do so, to become as proficient as a native speaker, is before the age of 10. You can still learn languages after that, of course, and even understand them. But to truly master speaking, it looks like it is more child's play than anything else.Bankers certainly don't play around though when it comes to protecting customer and bank data, but it is critical to stay vigilant. In fact, as of February 21st, there had already been 140 data breaches
As a kid, everyone at one point or another probably looked at the stars in the sky and thought how amazing it might be to become an astronaut. Fast forward and SpaceX/Tesla founder Elon Musk says he will send the first manned mission to Mars in just 6Ys. That's right, we finally get to meet the Martians we have long heard about to see what makes them tick.*Note: I took out the last sentence of this paragraph before track changes... Bankers too have to deal with the launch soon of new rules for calculating current expected credit losses (CECL). Community
Research finds most people like a good cup of morning coffee. In fact, 64% of Americans say they drink at least 1 cup of coffee each day and the average person guzzles 2.7 cups. Of those who say they drink coffee, 76% add milk, cream or sugar, while 24% take it as it comes. Finally, 66% of women and 62% of men say they drink coffee every day.Like most people, most bankers also like a good cup of morning coffee, as they think about the day to come. As you do that this morning, consider that banking and non-banking services
You may find it odd, but Ancient Egyptians reportedly used slabs of stone as pillows. Imagine a pillow fight back then! In more modern times, experts say you should replace a feather pillow about every 8Ys, a down pillow every 7Ys and a polyester pillow every 1Y. Guess you don't need to worry about that too much if you are still using a rock.No matter how you slept last night, you know that publicity of all sorts is usually good for the bank. You should also know that when you take the time to talk with a reporter, you're doing
The Romans sure invented some interesting things in their time. They invented concrete, aqueducts, newspapers, welfare, roads, arches, and even the modern day calendar. Oh yeah, they also invented using urine to clean and whiten teeth. Gross, but it just goes to show you some inventive types might not know when to stop.Today's modern technology revolution has forced banks to invent new digital ways to connect with clients. This has also prompted some community banks to shift marketing efforts from traditional advertisements to digital ads. While it makes sense for community banks to focus marketing efforts on the venues that
In a strange twist of fate, a story is told of a man in 1567 with the longest beard in the world. It seems he was trying to run away from a fire and tripped over his own beard. Guess it still makes sense not to let any facial hair get too out of control perhaps.Bankers that are active in agriculture (Ag) lending know it is important to stay on top of things to avoid potential issues. Farmers are struggling with low prices for wheat and row crops, especially in the corn-, beans-, and wheat-producing Midwest and Great Plains. The
There is nothing like a good fizzing drink to better enjoy your meal. However, that isn't likely the case in areas that have glaciers and icebergs. You see, in those parts of the world, when such icy behemoths melt, they reportedly make a unique fizzing noise that researchers call a bergy seltzer - plop, plop, fizz, fizz, everyone.When it comes to banking, some would say the fizz and sizzle of the branch has gone flat. After all, remember the good old days when a bank kept its valuables in a vault? Things are different in the digital age, particularly when
As you eat your breakfast this morning, consider something. The ring shaped pieces in Froot Loops cereal are bright and different colors (green, orange, purple, yellow and red). Yet, despite the different colors, they actually all are exactly the same flavor - a blend of fruit flavors. Sorry to splash natural and artificial colors all over your childhood, but even though your brain has been fooled for all those years, we would still say the Froot in the Loops tastes just as good now as it did back then.Since their childhood it seems, community banks have been working to expand